German Cartel Office Imposes Fine Against Producers of Power Transformers

The German Cartel Office has imposed fines totalling EUR 24.3 million against the producers of power transformers ABB AG, Alstom Grid GmbH, Siemens AG, and Starkstrom-Gerätebau GmbH because of restrictive agreements concerning calls for tenders.

The fines were imposed with regard to quota and submission agreements in the period dating from spring 1999 to March 2004 regarding medium-sized (more than 12.5 MVA) und large (more than 100 MVA) power transformers in Germany.

The German Cartel Office started proceedings in August 2008 based on an investigation by the European Commission on 7 and 8 February 2007 of producers of power transformers in several European states. The Cartel Office procecuted the national cartel in Germany, while the Commission procecuted territorial protection agreements between European and Japanese manufacturers and imposed fines against seven companies totalling EUR 67.6 million in 2009.

All four companies in the German proceedings made applications for leniency (Bonusanträge) and were granted reductions of the fines. The fines have not become binding. Complaints have to be made with the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf). However, the companies agreed to a consensual termination of the proceedings (einvernehmlichen Verfahrensbeendigung).

Source: German Cartel Office

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